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Captain Joe's 5th Progress Report

Captain Joe's 5th Progress Report

Update number 5 from Captain Joe on the Shackleton Memorial Library:

I have just looked at the photographs in the website, and I am happy to report that the glass is now in the rotunda, and the scaffolding will be coming down just as soon as one detail on top has been completed. With the glass in, the whole structure looks as we hoped it would, and maybe even better! Further, the glass is now installed in the cladding of the top deck. So the building is now all enclosed, and finish work is going on apace.

When I wrote the last update, we were still optimistic that we would come in on time, and under budget. We are still under budget, even if it is only 5 pence, but I have had to accept an extension to the contract. The extra heavy rains in Cambridgeshire flooded not only our county, but also our new basement. That is now all under control, the idea of having water inside the watertight envelope being unacceptable to your old sea captain, but it also delayed the laying of brickwork and blockwork.

Inside the building, finish work is well underway. The hardwood decks are going down, and match well what is already in the building. One of the most satisfying activities to me is that as we finish parts of the construction that have required the on-site stowage of materials, the debris and extra materials that accompanied that activity are being removed from the site. So I am beginning to see the Institute environs as they were when I came here three years ago. There is still a lot to do in this regard, as cleaning up and making good of the grounds will be going on for some time.

I have started moving people and things into spaces that they will occupy in the new areas. Books will follow soon behind. This is a very exciting time for the Members of the Institute, as everything is going back together, new spaces being occupied, and cleaning and decorating happening all over the complex.

Finally, full advantage is being taken of the opportunity to remove redundant wiring, piping, and fittings. In a building that started life in 1934, and has had additions during the lifetime of the Institute, there is a lot of that - very similar to a ship that has undergone many refits in her lifetime.

We have carried on with all our work during the construction period, and the Members, Visiting Scholars, and other researchers who have worked through this merit a "well done" for bearing with us through this time. We look forward to the reopening of the Museum, and for our friends all over the world to be able to work in the Institute as it should be.

Written at four bells of the afternoon watch on 16 July 1998,
and signed by

Captain Joe.

Go to Joe's previous Progress Report

Text by Captain Joe Wubbold III.